Every Wednesday from here until July 15th, the release date of DC Comics’ Blackest Night #1, we here at IoM will be presenting a history of each of the corps involved in the upcoming battle, as well as some background on the major players and the storylines leading up to the big event!
We started last week with the Green Lantern Corps and this week, we focus our attention on Atrocitus and The Red Lantern Corps!
When the Manhunters rebelled against the Guardians, they rampaged through Sector 666, destroying everything in their path. The being named Atrocitus was one of only five beings that escaped death. With the other survivors, he formed “The Five Inversions,” with the intention of destroying the Guardians of the Universe. “The Five Inversions” could actually see into the future, and saw the prophecy of the Blackest Night, when all life in the universe would end.
The Guardians imprisoned the Five Inversion on the planet Ysmault, and Abin Sur (remember him? The guy who gave Hal Jordan the GL ring?) became obsessed with the prophecy of the Blackest Night. So much so that he broke Atrocitus out, and asked to be led to the birthplace of “the black,” Earth.
Atrocitus instilled fear in Abin Sur and, in a moment of weakness, the yellow impurity (Parallax) crept into him, allowing Atrocitus to escape. Atrocitus slashed Abin Sur, and escaped the falling ship right before it crashed. While he went on to cause damage on Earth, Sur’s ring found Hal Jordan and he became the Green Lantern.
Still attempting to find the birth of “the black,” Atrocitus found William Hand and attacked him. Sinestro and Hal Jordan intervened, saving the man who would eventually bring about the Blackest Night. Atrocitus was captured, and taken back to Ysmault by Sinestro, where he told Sinestro that Korugar (Sinestro’s homeworld) would soon erupt into chaos and disorder.
After the Sinestro Corps War (we’ll get there), Atrocitus forged a Red Lantern power battery, from the rage he had built up during his years of imprisonment. Determined to get revenge on Sinestro, he murdered Qull of the Five Inversions by beating him to death with the red lantern. Qull was the guy who told Abin Sur the prophecy of the Blackest Night to begin with.
Atrocitus murdered the other members of the Five Inversions, and used their blood to create red power rings, power batteries, and a Red Central Power Battery on Ysmault. Donning the red power ring, he became the first Red Lantern, and recruited others from across the universe who have great anger and hate, including former Green Lantern Laira.
While Sinestro was being transferred by some members of the Green Lantern Corps to his home planet of Korugar for execution (after the Sinestro Corps War), the Red Lanterns attacked, killing both Sinestro Corps members and Green Lanterns. The Red Lanterns took Sinestro back to Ysmault to execute him slowly, and only after destroying Korugar, and Sinestro’s hidden daughter, whose identity was just revealed in Green Lantern #40 to be Soranik Natu (of the Green Lantern Corps)
Hal Jordan and the Blue Lanterns try to rescue Sinestro, and Atrocitus reveals to Hal a prophecy that states that the Guardians will one day take his greatest love, and it’s also revealed that the Blue Lanterns’ hope inducing rings have no effect against Atrocitus, who claims to know their weakness. Jordan was captured and Laira, the former Green Lantern, is killed by Sinestro. Jordan gets angry at Sinestro and Laira’s red ring clings to his finger, making him a member of the Red Lantern Corps. Saint Walker of the Blue Lanterns gets a Blue power ring onto his finger, which negates the effects of the red ring. The Red Lanterns retreat to the dark side of Ysmault, where Atrocitus performs another blood ritual, seeking to discover the location of the Blue Lanterns’ homeworld.
Upon induction into the Red Lantern Corps, a Lantern’s blood is expelled and replaced with a napalm-like plasma, which can be projected by the Lantern through their mouth. As long as anger is present, the red fire burns, even in the vacuum of space. The power rings also provide flight and force fields.
With blood and rage of crimson red,
Ripped from a corpse so freshly dead,
Together with our hellish hate,
We’ll burn you all–
That is your fate!
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